Royal Anglian soldiers honoured for Mali operation

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment who have spent the last 6 months deployed in Mali have been presented with their Operational Service Medals.

In the past year, the Battalion, known as The Poachers, has completed two successive six-month UN peacekeeping tours to Mali, West Africa, as part of Operation (Op) NEWCOMBE.

“I am hugely proud of the way you have engaged with the United Nations, the way you have worked with the various multi-national elements that were out in the country and the way you have supported and helped them where required.” Lieutenant General Wooddisse, Commander Field Army

The first deployment was in December 2020 and included over 70 soldiers from B (Leicestershire) Company, who deployed as part of the Long Range Reconnaissance Group (LRRG) that was led by the Light Dragoons.

The second deployment in May 2021 saw The Poachers lead the UK Task Group, which A (Lincolnshire) Company deployed as part of, with soldiers from C Squadron, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG) in support. Soldiers from the QDG were also on parade to receive their medals as well as soldiers who provided the specialist capabilities to the Task Group such as engineers and medics.

The LRRG provided a reconnaissance capability with the soldiers conducting patrols to gather intelligence and engage with the local population, helping the UN better understand how to help.

The medals were presented by Commander Field Army, Lieutenant General Wooddisse, the Commander 7 Infantry Brigade, Brigadier Guy Foden, the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Sarah Furness and the High Sheriff of Rutland, David Wood.

Lieutenant General Wooddisse, said: “I am hugely proud of the way you have engaged with the United Nations, the way you have worked with the various multi-national elements that were out in the country and the way you have supported and helped them where required.”

He continued: “You have been a beacon of professional prowess. It’s no exaggeration to say Mali is a dangerous place and the most challenging and lethal UN operation that exists in the world today.  It is testament to your professionalism that you have come back in one piece. As the Commander of the Field Army, the Colonel of the Royal Anglian Regiment and a former Commanding Officer of the Battalion, I have never been prouder to be all three.”